A visible bulge at the entrance of my vagina. Leakage during intercourse. A constant feeling of pressure that got worse throughout the day.
Stress Urinary Incontinence and Cystocele
Age at diagnosis: 45
How did you learn about your diagnosis?
Symptoms were definitely interfering in my relationship with my husband. We agreed I needed to see an Urogynecologist and get things figured out. He did an exam and found that I had a cystocele, but even when he held my bladder in the correct position, I still showed signs of needing a sling.
How did this condition impact your life?
If I was on my feet a lot during the day, the pressure I felt by evening was miserable. When I started avoiding intercourse, it began to impact my relationship with my husband as well.
What treatment options did you explore?
Because of how significant the prolapse was, my physician recommended surgery. Most of my research was about all the different kinds of surgery. We also discussed slings.
How did you make your decision?
I decided on mesh because it felt like a permanent repair. Because it could be done through only a vaginal incision, my doctor proposed we use a mini-sling for the incontinence. He could place it at the same time as the mesh for the tiny Cystocele. Both incisions would be small and not visible to anyone.
Please describe your surgical and recovery experience.
It was nice to kill two birds with one stone rather than having two surgeries. Having surgical procedures is a little scary – I don’t like hospitals. I definitely had some pain in my buttocks for a couple days which my doctor told me could happen from my leg position during surgery. It wasn’t too intense and it went away in a few days. Everything else went as expected.
How has your life been with your chosen treatment?
Good. Ask my husband. I think he would agree surgery was the right choice.
What would you say to another woman experiencing your same type of symptoms or diagnosis?
Don’t be embarrassed. But even if you are, don’t let embarrassment allow your life to be impacted more or for longer than it already has. You have options and you can take back control.
*This story is fictional and the information presented is only intended to represent common experiences of women receiving treatment for POP or SUI. It should be used for informational purposes only and is not meant to substitute for the advice provided by your own physician or other medical professional. We strongly encourage you to discuss all health matters and concerns with your physician before beginning, stopping or changing any treatment strategies.